Business News of Sun, 2 Sep 20184
Relief for mango farmers as MOFA, private company collaborate to fight black bacteria disease
Mango Farmers in the Kintampo Municipality and it's environs can now heave a sigh of relief, years after battling the deadly Mango Bacteria Balckspot Disease (MBBS) on their farms.
This follows a collaboration between the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and a private company, Plant Pests and Diseases Control Company Limited (PPDC), towards the eradication of the pest.
Mango farming is a major business for hundreds of farmers in the Kintampo North and South districts of the Brong Ahafo Region.
About 325 mango farmers, who form membership of the Kintampo Mango Farmers Association, cultivate a total of 4,199.
But their business prospects continue to be threatened by the presence of the pest which tend to reduce their yields.
However, with the intervention of MOFA and PPDC, the farmers say the impact of the disease has significantly reduced.
An MBBS pilot programme on 25 farms last year recorded positive results according to owners of the farms.
At a ceremony to formally roll out the programme, the Managing Director of Plant Pest and Disease Control Company Limited, Mr. Yaw Asenso-Mensah said as a result of the intervention, farmers who harvested only 1 crate (43kilos) from his three acre mango farm in 2017, was able to harvest 150 crates (6450kilos).
He said through a collaboration with the Kintampo District Directorate of Agriculture, the company intends to embark on a comprehensive MBBS across the region to support farmers improve their productivity.
Mr. Asenso-Mensah commended the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for their technical support.
On his part, the Deputy Minister in charge of Horticulture, Hon. George Boahen Oduro, who performed the official launch of the programme on behalf of the sector minister, pledged government's continuous support to farmers.
He said mango production was key to the government's One Distict One Factory policy as well as the Planting for Export and Rural Development programme (PERD).
Hon. George Oduro said the Ministry would continue to monitor the situation a d offer the requisite support to the PPDC in order to alleviate the plight of the mango farmers.
A Deputy Director of the PPRSD, Mr. Copperfield Banini, charged the farmers to adopt necessary cultural practices on their farms in order to minimize the occurrences of the pest.